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Mottled-head Gum-leafhopper - Eurymeloides punctata

Family Cicadellidae, Eurymelinae, Eurymelini    

This page contains pictures and information about Mottled-head Gum-leafhoppers that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
 
Body length 8mm  
 
The Gum-leafhopper has the head black or brown in colours mottled with white. Their eyes were orange in colour. Scutellum is entirely black or dark brown. There are two lines on black wing-covers, the front line is wedge-shaped and the hind line is narrowly across. The hind legs have three large and two small spurs on one edge. The abdomen is yellow-green in colours. 
 
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Pictures were taken in Anstead Forest on Nov 2009.
 
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This Gum-treehopper was found during early summer in Karawatha Forest. Many of them were found on a small gum tree. 
 
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The nymph is also with bright orange colour patterns. Different stages instars can be found grouped together and feeding on new shots of the gun tree. Eurymelinae nymphs cannot jump. They avoid predators by running around the twig or branch. The nymphs always live in group. 
 
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They are attended by different species of ants. Those ants around them are for their excretion of 'honey-dew', which is the excess sugar that the leafhoppers do not need. The presence of ants discourage predators, this becomes a kind of protection from the ants. 

The Host Plants

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Eucalyptus sp., family Myrtaceae
 

Reference:
1. Insects of Australia and New Zealand - R. J. Tillyard, Angus & Robertson, Ltd, Sydney, 1926, p164. 
2. The leafhoppers and froghoppers of Australia and New Zealand (Homoptera: Cicadelloidea and Cercopoidea) - J W Evans, Australian Museum, 1966, p63.

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Last updated: March 24, 2012.